Do you think age 10 is too young to stay home alone?

I will be going back to work full time instead of part time soon and was weighing out options for after school. We live in the country so the school buses drop you off in front of your home. I was thinking of just letting my son go home after school and waiting for me to get home which would be 2 hours after he gets home.

Would you leave your 10 year old child home alone for 2 hours every day or is that too young?

Disclaimers: I did check with my state law and we do not have a minimum age which a child can be left alone. 

28 Answers

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  • 2 months ago

    This would depend on the maturity level of your child. Have you ever left him home alone before? If not, then two hours alone may be a bit too long starting out. When I started leaving my kids home alone I did start at the age of 10 but I would do quick errands around town and be gone around 20 minutes. When I felt more comfortable then I would leave them longer. Like an hour while I ran to the store. Is there a neighbor or older kid that lives nearby that could possible check in on him? I can tell you what I do is leave a list of emergency contact numbers near our phone. I call my kids about every hour or so to check on them. (They're older now so I'm not so concerned anymore) They also had rules like no cooking on the stove. When I first started leaving them alone I would only allow them to have snacks like yogurt because I was afraid of them choking. I would also give them tasks to do around the house to keep them busy. Like fold the laundry, take out the trash, etc. My kids are very mature for their age so I felt very comfortable leaving them. We had rules and I knew they were mature enough to follow them. You figure back in the day there were no afterschool care when I was a kid. My mom was a stay at home mom but a lot of kids in my school were lachkey kids. Just make sure you have a back up plan in case he loses his key or something. My mom left a spare key hidden in case we needed it. The only thing you can do is try it and see how it goes. If you don't think he can handle it after a few days then put him in afterschool care.

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  • Nathan
    Lv 4
    3 months ago

    Yes, it is ILLEGAL for anyone under the age of 16 to be at home alone without an adult.

    • Ms.Medium
      Lv 7
      2 months agoReport

      It depends on your state laws. Our state doesn't have an age limit.

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  • 3 months ago

    I stayed home alone when I was 8

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  • 3 months ago

    I was doing that at eight...

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  • Laurie
    Lv 7
    3 months ago

    Yes. It is ABSOLUTELY too young to stay home alone on a regular basis. Trust me.

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  • Anonymous
    3 months ago

    Honestly, I think it is way too young. My kids didn't stay home alone for even an hour until they were at least 12 or 13.

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  • Tulip
    Lv 7
    3 months ago

    I would not if you can't afford a sitter you can't afford to work full time

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  • 3 months ago

    That could be a bit too young unless your child is exceptionally well disciplined, mature. Does your school have extracurricular activities, sports, etc. & a late bus (or you pick up at school after work)? Supervised after-school activities would be good, especially since your child may be spending too much time alone, without playmates, etc. Living out in the country can be isolating to begin with. Any organizations such as Big Brothers so someone will spend one after-school meet a week with a responsible adult?

    If your child does need to spend some afternoons home alone, give them homework & housework you verify is done on your arrival home. E.g. check the homework. Have them set the table for dinner. Teach them how to cook & have them start supper. Set up online tutoring appointments, and check with that tutor to ensure your child is participating & making progress. If your child is busy, they don't have much time to create trouble, get lonely, etc.

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  • Anonymous
    3 months ago

    I don't think I'd do it. He might be okay, but how would you feel if something tragic did happen?

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  • Anonymous
    3 months ago

    It would depend greatly on the child.

    Some 10-years-old are responsible and knowledgeable enough to stay by themselves.

    Others I would not leave alone for 30 minutes, much less 2 hours.

    You're the only one who knows your child's limitations and abilities.

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